Certificate in Alternative Energy Systems

Eastern Florida State College, Melbourne, Florida

The Eastern Florida State College Alternative Energy Systems certificate program is managed under the college’s AS Engineering Technology program and is available to those who are interested in a certificate versus an AS program. Instead of the 60 credit hours required for the AS degree, the certificate program can be accomplished with 18 hours of instruction.

Program Description

This certificate program will prepare students to meet the industry-specific skills needed for technicians in the new and emerging alternative and renewable energy fields, including occupational titles such as Electrical Technician, Industrial Engineering Technician, Solar Photovoltaic Installer and Solar Power Plant Technician, Solar Thermal Installer and Technician, Energy Auditor and Smart Grid Technician. This program also provides supplemental training for persons previously or currently employed in occupations related to energy production, distribution and storage.

Credits earned in this certificate also apply to the Associate in Science (A.S.) degree in Engineering Technology.

Program Attributes

This program is intended for individuals not interested in the long term AS program.

Case Study Interview

1. What inspired you to spearhead the effort to integrate solar content into your courses, curriculum, or programs?

(Same answers as the Eastern Florida State AS Degree program – many of the program attributes are similar)


Eastern State (formerlyBrevard Community College) and the Florida Solar Energy Center already started this effort prior to my joining the Electronics (now Engineering Technology) program at Eastern State.   Also, recognition that the renewable energy field was reaching the stage where it was becoming economically viable in the marketplace.   This means there will be jobs available.  Also, knowledge of renewable energy systems is a good thing for every energy consumer; since it promotes independence and self-reliance.  As such I promote ETP1401 Alternative Energy Technologies as a way for students to reduce their electric bills without reducing their lifestyle.

2. What major obstacles did you encounter and how did you overcome them?

Finding a good text for some of the courses.  I am still shopping around for a better text for:

ETP1420 Solar Thermal technologies – current text is ok.

ETP1400 Distributed Electrical Power generation and Storage – current text is poor.

ETP1401 Alternative Energy Systems – current text is ok.

3. What were the keys to successfully achieving solar content integration (e.g., support of a person or persons; part of a planned curriculum improvement project; recommendations from industry or an advisory board; etc.)?

Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE) – They are an excellent resource for the creation and coordination of curriculum development.  Adding an “Alternative Energy Systems” 2nd year option to the Engineering Technology program helped both integrate into our curriculum and gave/gives it a lot of good press.

4. How long did the process take from initial concept presentation or proposal to implementation?

About 3 semesters.

5. Was this primarily a one-person effort, or did you have one or more partners who shared a significant portion of the workload?

Partners.  Sheryl Awtonomow and the FLATE ET forum helped a lot.

6. What products or services from your Regional Training Provider (RTP) and the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN) were most useful to you in achieving solar content integration at your institution?

Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) was very helpful by proving training for our faculty and materials to teach with.

7. Are there other products or services that you would suggest for the RTPs and/or the SITN to offer that would be helpful in the process of implementing solar content integration?

8. Would you be willing to share course proposals, curriculum improvement proposals, and/or curriculum outlines for the courses, curriculum, and programs that you used as part of the solar content integration process?

Yes, the curriculum has been added to the Florida state educational frameworks.

9. If yes, would you agree to have these materials available on the IREC web site (with links from the RTP web sites)?

Yes, see question 8.

10. Would you be willing to be listed as a contact person on the IREC web site to share your solar content integration experience with other interested parties?


11. Would you be willing and able to specify all occupations for which the training that you offer applies (e.g., this program trains students for these occupations/jobs)?

As with most training the occupations go beyond what we recognize up front.

12. Was specific funding appropriated for solar content integration into related course, curriculum, and/or program development?

See question 13.

13. If special funding was available, would you be willing to share the amount of funding on the IREC web site?

We received an NSF grant to establish an Alternative Energy training program at the 2 year college level in Florida; which has been done.  The grant was $400K and shared between 3 schools: BCC (EFSC), The State College of Jacksonville, and Tallahassee Community College.  The grant period ended last year but we were given a 1 year extension.

Course Listings

MAJOR COURSES                                                                                              CREDIT HOURS

EET 1084               Introduction to Electronics                                    3

ETI 1701                Industrial Safety                                                3

ETP 1400              Distributed Electric Power Generation and Storage    3

ETP 1401              Alternative/Renewable Energy Technologies            3

ETP 1420              Solar Thermal Technologies                                   3

ETPC 2410            Photovoltaic Technology                                       3

Total Credit Hours:                                                                        18


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